This holiday is rather unusual for Hal (person) and myself. For the first time in 14 years, we have not had the chance to spend the holidays with our close friends. This year has been one of change for them, and that has necessitated travel for them. There is nothing bad happening, but their lives are getting ready for a big change in the coming year. It will be physically impossible for us to spend the holidays with them next year, or for the foreseeable future. When someone moves far away, the relationship that is special cannot be damaged, but the contact will obviously be less than desired.
It would be incredibly selfish to wish that they would stay close by. It is their life and they have to do what they know is right. We realize that their decision is in no way a reflection on our relationship, and we support them 100% because that is what friends do for one another.
On the other hand, it will be a real adjustment for us to no longer know that holidays will be spent together, except on very rare occasions with lots of advanced planning. When Hal and I moved to DC in 2002, we established contact with these friends and have been close ever since. No amount of support will make their absence any easier to take, but we will go on loving them as much as we always have, and know that the feeling is mutual.
I wish that we had known of these changes at this time last year so we could have marked the holidays of 2015 with more meaning than usual. As things have worked out, that was the last time we will spend the holidays together for a long time. Perhaps it happened this way for the best of reasons, their immediate family obligations for this year came first and we respect that. We won’t have the chance to have an overly emotional last event with them, and we have to accept that and look at it in the best possible light. Our last memories will be happy and normal ones, not marred by the sense of impending change.
Everything will work itself out, it always does. Our friendship will never die, distance cannot change it. The world is a small place to stay in touch with loved ones and friends, and we know that these are friends who will keep those promises. Hal and I have talked about it and we agree that we will move forward and do the best that we possibly can, Friends like these cannot be replaced, nor will we ever attempt to.
The lack of a real last holiday get-together is perhaps the most fitting thing, as I mentioned earlier. The emotions would have been stronger than usual, and the best attempts to dance around the truth would have simply been awkward and uncomfortable for everyone. It was a normal and happy time together last year, and that is a wonderful way to remember things. The old saying goes “The only thing that is constant is change”, and this year is proving that it is very true. We will all do the very best that we can, and things will work out for the best if we don’t try to fuck with them too much.